Posts Tagged ‘Karachi’

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Supporting mischief: recommended news reading

July 17, 2014
  • Are we in an age of unilateral easing of sanctions on rogue states without obtaining meaningful changes in behavior first? Case in point:  Japan on North Korea… more>>
  • A University of Texas student has pleaded guilty to luring recruits to wage jihad in Somalia, or, failing that, to prepare for World War IIImore>>
  • Boko Haram is illustrating how ineffective U.S. counter-terror finance policies can be… more>>
  • Smuggling eight guns from Minnesota to Nigeria stuffed in a brown paper bag between the seat cushions of a ’98 Mercury is one way to run afoul of authorities… more>>
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Terrorist mafia don lives like a king in Karachi

May 25, 2014

After bombing his hometown of Mumbai in the 1990s, Dawood Ibrahim became unwelcome in India and fled to Karachi, Pakistani, where he has maintained a lifestyle of the rich and famous. HindiNest.com is featuring an informative article (h/t @1389) about Dawood, who is protected by active and retired members of Pakistan’s intelligence community. He has extensive operations in Dubai but can’t stay there because the UAE has an extradition treaty with India. An excerpt follows:

…Ibrahim lives like a king. Home is a palatial house spread over 6,000 square yds, boasting a pool, tennis courts, snooker room and a private, hi-tech gym. He wears designer clothes, drives top of the line Mercedes’ and luxurious four-wheel drives, sports a half-a-million rupee Patek Phillipe wristwatch, and showers money on starlets and prostitutes. He bought Lahore model, Saba, with whom he reportedly had a passionate involvement, a house and a car. Nor does he shirk his obligations: Mandakini, of Ram Teri Ganga Maili fame, former Bollywood actress with whom he had a child is reportedly still being supported by him.

His daily regimen is also rather kingly. He wakes in the afternoon. After a swim and shower, he has breakfast. In the late afternoon, he gives his employees an audience where he briefs them on their assignments and they give him daily reports of his myriad businesses.

If in the mood, he engages in a game of cricket or snooker with friends. And as the sun sets, Dawood and his party set off for any one of his ‘safe houses’ in Karachi for an evening of revelry – usually comprising drinks (Black Label is his preference), mujras and gambling. The long-married Dawood’s passion for women has made him a favoured client for local pimps. His current liaison notwithstanding, he whets his allegedly large sexual appetite with a variety of women.

“He prefers virgins, preferably young girls. And he is a good paymaster. If the market rate for a woman is 10,000 rupees, Dawood pays 100,000 rupees. He is thus always surrounded by Pakistan’s top call girls,” discloses one of his family friends.

Carousing through the night, Dawood and his companions quit only at dawn and collectively offer fajr prayers. This has been Dawood Ibrahim’s routine for several years.

From petty street urchin to don of the Mumbai underworld, Dawood’s life makes for a fascinating story.
Dawood seems to have realised early in life that crime paid. His petty exploits sometimes landed him in trouble, but his father’s position as a policeman saved him from being apprehended on several occasions. Soon the Mumbai underworld started taking note of him.

Initially operating independently, Dawood formed his own gang, which grew into a mega crime network over the years. Both Hindus and Muslims worked for him, pursuing his by now multiple business interests, which included drugs, mediating in business disputes, evicting tenants from old buildings and clearing land for purposes of construction.

Ibrahim’s interests soon led him to Bollywood where he became a major film financier. At his lavish parties, there was never a shortage of the mega stars of the day. “They wouldn’t dare refuse an invitation,” says a friend, who maintains that those who opted out on account of shooting schedules would suddenly find their dates had been cancelled or postponed.

Growing Hindu-Muslim tension, fuelled by other underworld dons, which climaxed after the Babri mosque demolition, changed everything. The ensuing blasts in Mumbai, and the communal riots triggered by the underworld itself, caused the Dawood Ibrahim gang to splinter. One of his top lieutenants, Chota Rajan, often described by Ibrahim as one of his ‘nauratans,’ (nine jewels) defected and formed his own group consisting mainly of Hindu boys. Thereafter, Ibrahim was accused of masterminding the blasts, even though he was out of town at the time. He could never return to India. Dubai, which might have been a natural alternative residence, was ruled out because of an Interpol alert for Dawood’s arrest – the UAE and India have an extradition treaty.

Thus Dawood fled to Pakistan, managing also to subsequently smuggle his family, comprising his wife, four daughters and a son, and certain close associates and their families out of Mumbai. (One daughter, 12, subsequently died of malaria and is buried in Pakistan). Today they are all Pakistani passport holders.

For the Muslims of Mumbai, Dawood’s role in the blasts makes him a hero. “You cannot imagine the behaviour of the Hindus towards us before the blasts. They would hurl insults at our veiled women, ridicule us and mock our beards. The blasts changed everything. Now they cannot underestimate our strength; they are afraid of us,” said a shopkeeper from Dawood Ibrahim’s old mohalla on Mohammad Ali Road, a largely Muslim neighbourhood, whose residents shun the press and fiercely guard their privacy.
In Pakistan meanwhile, Dawood managed to establish another huge empire, comprising both legitimate and illegitimate businesses. In fact, the last few years have witnessed Dawood emerge as the don of Karachi.

Dawood and his men have made heavy investments in prime properties in Karachi and Islamabad, and are major players in the Karachi bourse and in the parallel credit system business – hundi. Dawood is also said to have rescued Pakistan’s Central Bank which was in crisis at one point, by providing a huge dollar loan. His businesses include gold and drug smuggling. The gang is also allegedly heavily involved in match-fixing. Dawood’s influence among the Pakistani cricket players is so well known that a senior Pakistan cricket official met Dawood to get the names of those Pakistani cricketers involved in betting.
Some of the Pakistani cricket players admit that at one time or another, they have sought Dawood’s help, financial or otherwise. Javed Miandad is allegedly very close to Dawood Ibrahim, and his recent stint in cricket, despite the opposition from other players, was reportedly at Dawood’s behest.
Dawood’s sphere of influence has also encompassed the business community, with businessmen increasingly approaching Dawood to settle their financial disputes with other businessmen or for financial bailouts. Some former MQM militants are apparently also working for Dawood as trouble-shooters. However, Dawood’s growing influence has irked Karachi’s powerful ethnic group, the mohajirs, who feel Dawood is trespassing on their domain as more and more people are now looking to Dawood to sort out their problems. “Earlier, whether it was a case of financial dispute or the construction or regularisation of an illegal building, people came to us for help. Now all of them are going to Dawood,” remarked a former leader of Altaf Hussain’s MQM.

Dawood’s business activities are not confined to the subcontinent. His network extends to several countries of the African continent, and to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Dubai, Germany, France and UK. His net worth has been estimated at close to 30 billion rupees.
Meanwhile, not only have the Pakistani authorities turned a blind eye to the gang’s activities within Pakistan, but many in the corridors of power have partaken of Dawood’s hospitality. Dawood often throws lavish mujras for Pakistani politicians and bureaucrats. A recent guest was a former caretaker Prime Minister.

These are not the only members of the establishment who have close ties with Dawood. He is said to have the protection of assorted intelligence agencies. In fact, Dawood and his men move around the city guarded by heavy escorts of armed men in civvies believed to be personnel of a top Pakistani security agency.

A number of government undercover agents, who came into contact with Dawood because of their official duties, are now, in fact, working for him. “A major serves him a glass of water. Nearly all the men who surround him for security reasons are either retired or serving officers,”claims an MQM activist…

Although this article describes Dawood’s net worth as 30 billion rupees (500 million USD), others sources have put it as high as $20 billion.  And although this piece describes his presence in Karachi, Dawood Ibrahim may have recently relocated to a different city in Pakistan–Money Jihad will post more on that tomorrow.

The whole article is well worth reading at http://www.hindinest.com/srajan/02948.htm. It gives a lot of insights into Dawood’s operations and the factionalism among his loyalists.

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Zakat causes bloodbath in Pakistan this Ramadan

August 16, 2012

Ramadan "donation" firefight

Our first story on the ongoing zakat street war in Pakistan comes from the Daily Times which reports that “the extortion mafia of Karachi generates billions of rupees in the Ramzan [Ramadan] season.”  The Times further reports rampant grenade attacks this “holy month” by the bhatta extortion mafia on Karachi’s small businesses and chain stores:

Karachi extortion : Trend of grenade attacks on markets terrorises traders

The recent trend of grenade attacks of shops and markets that refuse extortion has terrorised local traders and businessmen, besides totally blackened the chances of further investment in Karachi.

All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries (APOSTCI) Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid said in past the extortionists backed by the ruling parties used to send bullets wrapped in extortion demand chits to Karachi traders, but embolden by covet backing from the corridors of power, now these mafia men are hurling grenades on shops and markets that refuse or delay Bhatta.

He said a famous chain store at NIPA Chowrangi was attacked with grenade. Last week shops at Yousuf Plaza and Water Pump were attacked with hand grenades and earlier grenades were hurled in bazaars of Hussainabad, Liaquatabad and Quaidabad by extortionists. He said the APOSTCI has record of more than one dozen such grenade attacks in Karachi.

He said extortion mafia is collecting forces Fitra and Zakat at the rate of Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per shop in Karachi, but the police and administration are playing the role of silent spectator. He said small traders are the worst affected segment of society due to Karachi lawlessness and a lot of small trades and cottage industries have closed their doors for good due to lack of business. He demanded of the government to realise the gravity of the situation as the ongoing ‘Bhatta war’ in Karachi is hitting hard the economy of not only Karachi but also the whole country.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Essa Nagri Christians pay jizya at gunpoint

March 28, 2012

Don’t believe the lies from the Muslim apologists who claim that the jizya hasn’t been imposed since the 1800s.  The jizya humiliation tax is imposed today in locations from Egypt to the Philippines with government approval.  From the British Pakistani Christian Association on Mar. 25:

Jizya Tax imposed on Christians in Essa Nagri, Karachi.

Essa Nagri is a densly populated Christian community in Karachi. The total population of Essa Nagri is said to be close to 50,000 men, women and children.

Christians living there suffer great poverty, however, they are strong believers and church attendance is very good.  Essa nagri is served by over 15 established churches of varying denominations; Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Church of Pakistan, Philadelphia Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Salvation Army.  In addition to this many other large and small Ministries are also working in Essa Nagri.

During the last six months, Essa Nagri people have been subjected to increasing attacks from local Islamic militants. The militants are entering Essa Nagri with guns, machine guns, pistols and other modern weapons.  They enter the Christian colony and loot the community.  Incidents include; snatching mobile phones, obtaining Jizya tax (Islamic religious tax for protection of minorities) under duress – often at gun point and violent attacks on innocent victims simply for fun.  As they leave they celebrate their haul by firing their guns in the air and whooping!  This is causing significant fear in the local community…

And those jizya payments are funneled right back into the grand jihad.

Read the rest at http://britishpakistanichristian.blogspot.com/.

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Pakistan’s anti-beggar Ramadan smackdown

August 8, 2011

Allah may be merciful, bountiful, and compassionate, but Pakistan is not.  Leading into the holy month of Ramadan, Karachi is contemplating an offensive against an influx of unwelcome beggars.

One official dismissed them as “professional beggars” involved in “crimes.”  Citizens and policy makers are complaining that more isn’t being done to “combat begging.”

Remember, Pakistan is one of a few countries in the world with legally mandated zakat, the proceeds of which are said to be given to the poor  (although news reports have indicated that only half of Pakistan’s zakat goes to the poor).  Enlightened Western intellectuals have told us that zakat is remarkable anti-poverty program and a sign of social justice.  Yeah, right.

From The News International on Jul. 24:

Number of beggars rising in city ahead of Ramazan

As soon as the holy month of Ramazan comes closer, the number of beggars coming to Karachi from various parts of the country increases day by day.

The number of beggars in the city Karachi exceeds the estimated figures shown by the government.

“The number of beggars is much higher than what the latest statistics indicate. Most of the beggars come to Karachi from other parts of the country to earn more money during Ramazan,” said Muhammad Ali, president of Roshni Help Line.

He said that his organisation would soon start a campaign for mapping various areas, keeping data of beggars’ groups to compliment efforts for the safety and security of children in the city.

Answering a question, he said that professional beggars roamed free in all corners of the city and nobody knew or suspected in what criminal activities they were involved since there was no record of them.

It had been observed that “many of these professional beggars are suspected of involvement in different crimes related to children, including kidnappings”, he added.

Ali said beggars kidnapped children between 3 and 5 for beggary. He said this was due to the fact that no government organisation kept a close eye on the beggars.

He noted that the numbers of beggars were growing on the streets of Karachi, especially at traffic signals, near shopping malls and outside mosques. The majority of the beggars hailing from various parts were not only old men, women and children, but also young men who were able to work, he added.

Ali said that another remarkable feature was that begging continued throughout the day and night, and even women and young children stayed up till the early hours.

“During last year’s floods, we established our camp in Makli. We found there many beggar families of Karachi, getting medicines and food aid.”

Commenting on the growing phenomenon, some citizens said beggars were now coming right to their homes. “They do not hesitate to knock on the door, especially in the afternoons, to ask for money. This is a grave matter with serious security implications,” one citizen said. He did not want to be identified.

A number of concerned officials and citizens criticised the relevant offices for failing to combat begging. They accused the authorities of slackness in their response to calls by citizens informing them of beggars at certain places. “We are asked to call these offices to report beggars but there is no one there to heed our calls,” a citizen said.

The citizens asked the Ministry of Social Welfare to either put pressure on these offices or close them down. They also called for providing the offices with qualified human cadre, cars and other facilities as well as for introduction of a single helpline to handle reports of beggars.

Many citizens who spoke to The News believed that many beggars came to Karachi from various parts to continue their business. They said security procedures to combat begging must be revamped.

Researchers interviewed said that awareness programmes against begging had not been effective. They called for more effective programmes that would convince people about the dangers posed by beggars.

They also said the programmes should inform people about where they should direct their charity given that the country was full of welfare societies that administered charity properly to the poor.

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“Illegal taxes” collected in Karachi

November 25, 2010

Pakistan is crawling with mafia syndicates—the drug mafia, the land mafia, the weapons mafia.  But the father of all three is the “bhatta” mafia.  Bhatta refers to extortion.

The bhatta mafia have become increasingly active this year especially against businessmen in Karachi.  Cattle ranchers, rickshaw drivers, gold dealers, paper traders, furniture makers—nobody is immune:

But these may not be simple cases of criminal extortion.  According to a recent Express Tribune article, “Also, during Eid, Mehsud tribesmen living in Karachi are forced to pay ‘bhatta’ in the name of donations for fighters in Waziristan. ‘Last Eid, we received reports that ‘parchiyaan’ (tickets)* were collected from each trader in Sohrab Goth (in Karachi) for this purpose,’ Shahid said.”  The Express Tribune refers to such collections as “illegal taxes.”  Some call them “jagga taxes.”

Bhatta may go against Pakistan’s criminal laws, but taxes against traders—both Muslims and infidels—are required under Islamic law.  Customs duties on articles of trade are regarded as a type of zakat.

* A parchi is a slip of paper with an extortion demand.

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The Taliban-Karachi connection

December 5, 2009

Shakespeare’s Queen Margaret told the Duchess of York, “From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept a hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death,” referring to Richard III.

The same could be said by America today to Pakistan about the Taliban.

In a new interview by Reuters with the mayor of Karachi, Pakistan, Syed Mustafa Kamal calls Karachi the “revenue engine” for the Taliban.  Karachi is a hotbed for ransomings and drug trafficking.  I’ll quote a brief passage here, but you really should check out the whole article for yourself:

KARACHI, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s biggest city and commercial hub of Karachi is the revenue engine of the Taliban who pose a threat to the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan from city no-go areas, Karachi’s mayor said on Wednesday.

The city of 18 million people generates 68 percent of the government revenue and 25 percent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product but it is vulnerable to both militant attacks and political violence, said mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal.

“As Karachi is the revenue engine for Pakistan, it’s the same revenue engine for the Taliban,” Kamal told Reuters in an interview in his office.

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